…Say detained trucks were waiting to discharge empty containers
Truckers under the aegis of Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) have written a protest letter to Babajide Sanwo-Olu, executive governor of Lagos State, accusing the Removal of Abandon Vehicles Committee (RAVC) of reckless towing of vehicles waiting to discharge empty containers at bonded terminals.
The letter, which was signed by Remi Ogungbemi, chairman of AMATO, disclosed that recently, members of RAVC came and towed away some trucks that were on the queue to drop empty containers at FANO bounded terminal at Amuwo-Odofin, and slammed the truck owners with outrageous fee to enable them secure the release of the trucks from detention.
“It is important to know that trucks towed around empty container depot are not abandoned by the owners as a result of mechanical failure or absence of drivers. Rather they were trucks on a moving queue to drop empty containers and return to their garage or the port to load import goods,” Ogungbemi stated in the letter.
Even if the trucks are obstructing traffic, he noted, that towing the trucks is not the solution rather LASTMA can be deployed to manage and control traffic within the vicinity of empty container depots at the expense of the owners of the depot.
While stating that the empty container depots are succor to the problem of port congestion, he however advised the State Government to seal or relocate any empty container depot that constitutes nuisance to the residents or free flow of traffic.
Ogungbemi however pleaded with the State Government to define towing of trucks to mean trucks that have mechanical problem or truly abandoned by their owners even as he called for unconditional release of trucks that were wrongly detained by the committee.